Exit polls predict Netanyahu will not be able to form a coalition government, but exit polls have been unreliable in the past.
Israel held an election after the last election left the nominal winner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, unable to form a majority coalition.
This time around, the result may be the same. Based on exit polls, which have been wrong in the past, there is no clear ‘winner’ — keep in mind it’s not like here where one party gets a majority. In Israel, whoever is able to form a coalition of 61 Knesset seats is the winner, and that can take days or weeks.
The Jerusalem Post reported on the possible stalemate:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to carry on after a decade in office with a historic victory in Tuesday’s election, and to be tasked with forming a government for the sixth time, remained up in the air late on Tuesday, after exit polls predicted a stalemate.
The final unofficial results were only expected on Wednesday afternoon, but according to exit polls on all three channels, neither Netanyahu nor Gantz had a clear path to a coalition.
Turnout in the race was 69.4% – higher than expected – even though Israelis went to the polls for the second time in five months. Arab turnout was up from 49% in the April 9 election.
According to Channel 13, Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc has a total of 54 seats, and the center-left bloc of Blue and White 58, including the Joint List. The other two polls gave the Center-Right bloc an advantage: 57-55 in Channel 12’s poll, and 56-54 in Channel 11’s.
A Times of Israel analysis notes that Netanyahu has a history of over-performing in the actual vote, so it’s still possible he will emerge with a winning coalition.
#BREAKING: #Netanyahu tells supporters in speech that #Israel needs strong #Zionist gov’t to represent all parts of the nation as the #Jewish nation state, and can't rely on “anti-Zionist” #Arab parties. #IsraElex19v2 pic.twitter.com/IGrlWAYtNE
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) September 18, 2019
With 89.8 percent of votes having been counted by the Central Elections Committee, Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party on Wednesday was projected to secure 32 seats in the Knesset, edging ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, which stood at 31 seats.
In the official count, the Gantz-led center-left-Arab bloc has a slight advantage over the Netanyahu-led right-religious bloc with 56 seats versus 55. In the middle are the nine seats of Yisrael Beytenu, whose leader, MK Avigdor Liberman, has vowed to force Likud and Blue and White into a unity government.
The Joint List, an alliance of mostly Arab parties, stands at third with 13 seats, followed by the ultra-Orthodox Shas and Yisrael Beytenu, both with nine seats.
Bringing up the rear are the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism (8), the nationalist alliance Yamina (7), center-left Labor-Gesher (6) and the leftist Democratic Camp (5).
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